Riblon wins stage as Froome boosts his overall lead

2013-07-19 00:00

L’ALPE D’HUEZ — Christophe Riblon became the first Frenchman to win a Tour de France stage this year and Chris Froome boosted his overall lead despite a late struggle on yesterday’s 18th stage.

Riblon caught American Tejay van Garderen with about two kilometres remaining on the day’s second ride up L’Alpe d’Huez, one of the Tour’s most famed climbs.

Riblon threw his hands up and pumped his fists after clinching the second Tour stage win of his career, three years after winning another mountain trek. Van Garderen finished 59 seconds behind in second, and Italian Moreno Moser was 1:27 behind in third.

“To raise my arms aloft at L’Alpe d’Huez is incredible,” Riblon said.

He dedicated the win to his AG2R La Mondiale team-mate Jean-Christophe Peraud, who fractured his shoulder in Wednesday’s time trial and had to pull out. “We wanted to end this bad spell,” Riblon said.

Froome, 3:18 back in seventh, extended his comfortable lead over main rival Alberto Contador to more than five minutes with just three stages remaining.

He is edging closer to becoming the second British rider to win the Tour, following Sky team-mate Bradley Wiggins’ success last year.

The 172,5 km route from Gap to L’Alpe d’Huez featured two HC ascents of L’Alpe d’Huez — meaning they were so tough they were beyond classification, known as Hors Categorie.

“It wasn’t easy,” Froome said.

“The whole team worked very hard to keep the yellow jersey.”

Contador was dropped by Froome on the second ascent of L’Alpe d’Huez and finished 11th.

The two-time former champion just held on to second place overall, but 5:11 behind Froome.

Colombian climber Nairo Quintana moved up to third overall and 21 seconds behind Contador.

Fans jammed the 21 hairpin bends on L’Alpe d’Huez in a chaotic atmosphere. Many were in fancy dress: vicars, super heroes, and other outfits of more dubious taste.


1. Christophe Riblon (FRA/ALM) 4 hr 51 min 32 sec

2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) at 0:59 s

3. Moreno Moser (ITA/CAN) 1:27.

4. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 2:12.

5. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 2:15.


1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 71 hr 02 min 19 sec

2. Alberto Contador (ESP/SAX) at 5:11 s

3. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 5:32.

4. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/SAX) 5:44.

5. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 5:58.

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